An early sign of a senior who needs help is the gradual increase of clutter around the house. While easy to ignore, these piles of things can cause problems or accidents for your senior loved one, so it’s important to take action. Here are the main culprits:
Kitchen: Not throwing away old food can leave a full refrigerator, which may allow a senior to believe that they don’t need to go shopping for new food. It also comes with the potential harm of food poisoning if old food is eaten. Additionally, a cluttered fridge is often a warning sign that your senior loved one isn’t eating properly or has had a change in appetite.
Mail pile: Spotting a pile of unopened mail can be a sign of someone who isn’t coping – and can often result in unpaid bills leaving your senior loved one without their essential services. If you notice a pile of mail stacked up anywhere in the house, take the time to check that everything is in order.
Medicine cabinet: Expired prescriptions come with obvious hazards, but also an overwhelm of bottles and pills can lead to taking the wrong ones by mistake. Keep the medicine cabinet organised and easy to use.
Hallways and stairways: Clutter in the halls and stairways creates tripping hazards and should be cleared. Even rugs or wires across the floor can easily be tripped over.
Clothing clutter: If your senior loved one is struggling with some of their daily tasks, having a clutter of clothing in the closet can create confusion and even result in wearing inappropriate clothes for the weather conditions. It’s best to keep the main closet as neat as possible, with only good clothing choices for the time of year.
Bathroom: The bathroom is the room of the house with the highest incidence of tripping accidents, and so great care should be taken to ensure that it is free of clutter and tripping hazards.